When I first came to Iden, my husband and I explored the area, and one evening took a walk along the river by New Bridge, when suddenly, out from behind a bush appeared Iden’s photographer extraordinaire Rod Stuart, who was poised to take a photo of some cows on the opposite bank of the river. The reflections of these cows could be seen in the water, and it promised to be a beautiful photo. We had no idea then that Rod is responsible for the Iden calendar, with a myriad of memorable photographs to his name. Only the other day one of Rod’s photographs appeared on the local news channel ‘Meridian News’. It was a photo of Iden churchyard carpeted with daffodils.

In order to photograph nature, it’s necessary to trudge across fields of early morning mist, and crouch under hedges, and pop up as Rod did from behind a bush, because cloud formations and sunsets and animals striking a pose are fleeting and transient There is a need to strike while the iron’s hot. Photographers tend to keep different hours from the rest of us in order to gets shots of nature at their most revealing

Anyway, last week I got an E- mail from Rod reiterating what I said recently in the village voice about the beauty of Iden’s daffodils. He explained just how we came to have so many daffodils in Iden’s churchyard. Apparently, a lady visiting her husband’s grave approached Rod, and said how much she appreciated the solitude of our churchyard, which enabled her to chat to her husband, at his graveside. Rod had an idea, and enlisted the help of Michael Miller .They offered relatives an opportunity to donate bulbs which could be planted in designated areas, allowing them to have a clump of daffodils personal to themselves and their loved ones. About twenty villagers were interested, and donated money towards bulbs which were then planted by volunteers. The planting, overseen by Rod and Michael Miller proved to be an enjoyable exercise. People brought flasks of tea and it was a hive of activity. Half the volunteers took a very scientific approach, measuring exactly the space between clumps of daffodils, and others threw bulbs in the air an decided to plant them wherever they landed. This disparity resulted in mostly tete- a – tete bulbs towards the Old Hall end of the churchyard, and taller clumps elsewhere. The result of course is a riot of differing types and shades of daffodil. For those relatives keeping a lone vigil at a graveside, to have help creating a memory was a nice thought, and something for us all to enjoy.

Well now, that answers my question about who plants these elusive daffodils in Iden, because they are everywhere, and I was beginning to think there was something of the ‘Elves And The Shoemaker’ about their appearance. However Michael Miller said that volunteers also planted the ones around the signposts, and along the roadside too. .It was a joint effort.

Do you know I enjoy writing about the nature around here, especially about the flowers. My mum used to say to me as a child “lets feed the snap dragons”, and lo and behold we would, and there would be all these antirrhinums with bits of bread hanging out of them. Then she would say “lets put a coat over our pyjamas and go for a walk in the rain”.[I kid you not,] and we would [ she was a nature lover, but she didn’t always think things through] We could have been arrested walking down a country lane in the dead of night in our pyjamas! She turned me into an insomniac who loves flowers!

News has just reached me from Debbie Curd. Many of you will have seen Debbie lapping the village in Preparation for the 2014 London Marathon., which she was running in aid of Age U.K. Sadly however, Debbie sustained an injury 8 weeks ago, which no amount of rest and physio could remedy, so upon the advice of Age U.K., she has now deferred her run, but will run in the 2015 London Marathon. Debbie wishes to convey her thanks for all the donations and support she has received. All donations have been passed on to Age U.K. Now most of us would have given up there and then, had a cup of tea, switched on ‘Corrie’ and laid down like a wounded soldier with a leg in the air, but our Debbie is a real trooper, and is determined to get fit for next year’s marathon. Not only that, she is busy learning her lines for the Panto this weekend. Never mind Debbie, next year you will be at the finishing line, wrapped in a foil blanket, and Iden will be cheering.

There is much in the pipeline in Iden, not least this weekend’s Pantomime Red Riding Hood in the village hall. Everyone is looking forward to it. [I’m getting excited and jittery and I’m not even in it] So, BREAK A LEG all you Iden Players.

This Sunday, 30th March, there will be a special Mothering Sunday service in Iden Parish Church at 9.30 am. It will be a service of Holy Communion, and there will be posies of flowers for all ladies in the congregation. Do come along and bring all the ladies in the family, mums, grannies, daughters aunties and female friends. Bring the whole family, because although the men folk won’t get a bouquet, there will be refreshments in the Old Hall afterwards., so something for everyone on Mum’s big day.

Jill Wood’s sale in aid of Tenterden and District National Trust’s 20th anniversary will be at Oxenbridge Farmhouse, Wittersham Rd [it will be well signposted] from 10am-12.30pm tomorrow, 29th March. Do go along, there will be much to interest everyone.

There is nothing that epitomises an English garden quite like lavender, and it’s by- products are so prolific, that Iden and Playden garden society were fortunate to have an illustrated talk last Friday , 21st March, by noted lavender specialist Dr.Simon Charlesworth of Downderry Nursery. Dr. Charlesworth described all aspects of lavender, it’s varieties, flowering season, physical appearance, colours, fragrance, tips on harvesting, and methods of hybridising. Members were able to buy examples of his stock, and lavender scented products following his lecture. Members were reminded that the IPGS ‘Spring and Produce Show’ will be held on Saturday 12th April in the village hall.

Sue White is having a jumble sale in the village hall at 1pm on Saturday 5th April in aid of the Gambian charity BACE.

There will be a Pop-In on Monday 31st March in the village hall at 11 a.m.

Bingo on 3rd April in the village hall opens at 2 p.m. Eyes down 2.30p.m.

Back to Rod Stuart’s calendar .Many of us have had our homes and fields photographed by Rod over the years so that they have become the subject of June, perhaps or April. He has taken wonderful, active photos of Iden villagers to make the calendar even more personal, and in doing so has created a lot of fun..

It’s nice to have people amongst us who are driven by creativity .All the people in this world who bring us their own brand of beauty, whether it be music ,painting, photography, poetry or dance , just hand it to us , as it were, after they have toiled at it and perfected it .We all need their differing forms of escapism. They lift us, however momentarily into a place we need to be.

Keep well..

Anyone wishing to contribute anything to the village voice, I will gladly include it. Please ring Gill Griffin [telephone 01797 280311]

Gill Griffin, Belfield, Main Street